Honoring our ancestors

February 13, 2021

My fellow human beings. I have worked so hard to learn how to love you. I have observed you for many decades and wondered how you operated. I have felt the deep pain of your rejection and have been blessed with the indescribable joy of love and understanding from a few amazing souls.

From the deep well of the solitude in which I was cast this past year, I have been wracked with pain knowing how many of you were ill-equipped to deal with the loneliness you were needlessly asked to endure on behalf of others as well as with the economic devastation and paralyzing fear that comes with having no role to play in the world.

Now in my modest way I begin to determine how to share what I know is true. The few people left willing to pretend to listen tell me they are too busy to listen. Nevertheless, the truth can’t be denied: the coronavirus “vaccine” is an experimental drug and is quickly killing people. We are not supposed to know this; it’s “disinformation” and people who repeat this information will be ridiculed rather that addressed with scientific facts.  That science has always been politically used is what people have been taught to forget.  Google Galileo.

I am so distraught not only for where we are right now — in a trance induced by fear, a trance whose spell has been carefully choreographed over many decades — but for where we will be when the truth is revealed. How will people deal with the intense guilt they experience over injecting their children with an experimental drug that causes permanent damage? How will people handle the guilt of knowing their elderly were among the first to die in assisted living facilities and nursing homes from this injection which is unlike any vaccine that has ever been developed or so widely and rapidly deployed in the name of “getting back to normal”?

I do not want anyone to approach me in the years to come and say, “I wish I had listened to you.” I have no need to be validated for what I have to say. I also, I must add, have no reason to care overly since I long ago decided the world was headed too far in the wrong direction for me to think any more human children were necessary.  My family of origin is dissolved; my best friend is dead.

But people are dying from an experimental drug and I, for one, am not going to stand back and pretend I don’t know what I clearly must and do know. I want as many of us as possible to be on the right side of history.

 

A worker in the struggle for light and love

on with the show

January 20, 2021

Dear Friend. 

Thanks for your e-mail.  I’m still in Santa Fe with George & Chesapeake.  Besides the fur crew, I have one friend – my acupuncturist.  That’s not enough for a dinner party.

I’m pretty distraught over the crack down on free speech and the divisiveness on ALL sides.  Santa Fe/NM’s covid BS was extreme over the holidays, and I’m one of the people who gets psychologically rattled when I see people wearing masks.  So, while I’m glad I’m not back in my former la-la-neoliberal land where complex thought has been replaced with “yes” or “no” buttons, it’s not much better here as far as I can discern.  But one cannot cut through the bullshit when everyone’s been told to slow the spread.

I am reading War and Peace finally.  Seems an especially apt way to begin coming to terms with the historic inevitability of big pharma, tech, and global corporate gangsters taking over the last vestiges of our human experience. 

(Every Princess Bride quote is one small tribute to Frank.)

I am also writing a fictional piece on my NPS experiences.  More examples of communities where one cannot make insecure people feel secure.  I’m tired of other people’s fears being the threshold beyond which no one is allowed to go.

Life is a risk.  Even Tolstoy would agree.

I’m pretty sure none of this will make sense.  That’s okay.  I’m getting used to it.

Best wishes,

Tamara

Morels!

April 17, 2020

It’s a compulsion I haven’t been able to indulge in for at least five years.

I realize this isn’t the greatest picture.  My tiny flip-phone, which already doesn’t take amazing pictures, downsized the image when I sent it.  Bah!

My obsession with morel hunting began in 2005.  I’d returned to Virginia the previous year and was working with a co-worker whose husband’s family had farmed along the mountains of what would come to be known as Shenandoah National Park.

When she shared this helpful rule, I was hooked:

“When the poplar leaves are the size of squirrel’s ears, it’s time to start hunting merkels.”

squirrel ear sized poplar leaf

We didn’t find morels that year although we raced through various landscapes trying to locate what we imagined would be the perfect environment for them.  That was part of the problem:  racing.  When you’re hunting for morels, you have to allow the world to narrow to four or five feet and slow to a glacial crawl.  What I recall of that first attempt was how we would crane our heads up to check if we were walking beneath tulip poplar trees and then look down at the forest floor.  It’s a surprising that we didn’t hurt ourselves during these dizzying tries, but we were younger then.

Another friend and I literally stumbled over morels 3 years later.  We ended up harvesting so many morels that I don’t really ever need to eat another one.  One night my boyfriend was late (again) to dinner so I ate the entire pound of morels in cream over croissants as a sort of revenge.  (see previous note on being younger)

These days, pandemic or no, I’m simply grateful for the gift the forest gives when a perfect morel reveals itself, its giggling barely muffled.  After a long winter and before the crowded vivacity of summer, the woods are a special domain, giving me the chance to stretch my muscles – slowly – and thrill in the signs of renewed life.  One of my favorite John Muir quotations captures this uniquely human understanding:

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

guardian spirits

reminders on how to breathe during an airborne toxic event

April 6, 2020

Salomon saith, There is no new thing upon the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination, that all knowledge was but remembrance; so Salomon giveth his sentence, that all novelty is but oblivion.

Francis Bacon: Essays, LVIII quoted in Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Immortal”

 


 

“How was class?” Denise said.

“It’s going so well they want me to teach another course.”

“In what?”

“Jack won’t believe this.”

“In what?” I said.

“Eating and drinking.  It’s called Eating and Drinking: Basic Parameters.  Which, I admit, is a little more stupid than it absolutely has to be.”

“What could you teach?” Denise said.

“That’s just it.  It’s practically inexhaustible.  Eat light foods in warm weather.  Drink plenty of fluids.”

“But everybody knows that.”

“Knowledge changes every day.  People like to have their beliefs reinforced.  Don’t lie down after eating a heavy meal.  Don’t drink liquor on an empty stomach.  If you must swim, wait at least an hour after eating.  The world is more complicated for adults than it is for children.  We didn’t grow up with all these shifting facts and attitudes.  One day they just started appearing.  So people need to be reassured by someone in a position of authority that a certain way to do something is the right way or the wrong way, at least for the time being.  I’m the closest they could find, that’s all.”

Don Delillo, White Noise

 

Babette, Jack’s wife and Denise’s mother, teaches a community class to the elderly in posture.  It seems just another layer of ridiculousness, but I’ve begun noticing how so many of us during this moment are doing … exactly the same thing.  It rather reminds me, sweetly, of the way our primate relatives pat each other in touching simplicity, sending the message that we are all in this together, that who you are matters to me, that your cares are mine and while I may not be able to make them disappear, I can utter familiar things that allay your anxieties for now.

Or as we murmur to each other and ourselves the ubiquitous expression, “You’ve got this.”

my quarantine

April 4, 2020

coronavirus

With special thanks to Gabriele Rausse

I remember you

March 31, 2020

apple blossoms

apple blossoms blooming at Monticello

After last week’s snow, the tall daffodils that had just begun to open were left with their sweet open faces pressed toward the earth.

When I’d lived in Ivy, there were masses of daffodils all over the 18 acre property.  As my cats George, Bandit and I took our walks, Bandit would sneak behind the masses of green stalks in order to effect pouncing manuevers upon hapless George.  He’d perfected the Daffodil Bandit act a few years earlier, when we lived in town, repeatedly assaulting my old gal Clarabelle in this manner during her last spring.  One wanted to scold him, and did try, but there was something so hilarious in the entire set-up and execution, as if Wile E Coyote had come east and had to work with something other than dynamite, anvils, and precipitous cliffs.

In a quasi-heartbreaking moment, days before the snow, I saw George crouched out by the daffodils.  I wondered if there was some memory in his heart of his friendly nemesis.

After the snow, seeing the bowed daffodils, I went out to cut some.  Over the three  springs I’d lived in Ivy I’d hated seeing my landlady’s visitors do this.  It seemed so pointless.  Why couldn’t they just appreciate them in situ? But now, watching their descent toward the earth, it seemed the only sure way to continue enjoying them.  As I type this, they are beaming their innocent, yellow cheer at me.  Bringing them in didn’t only lighten my interior visual field, however.  By sitting so closely to them, I have noted for the first time their light but distinct fragrance.

Of course, George, if I could ask and he could answer, would be able to tell me this.  Surely it was the scent of the flowers that triggered his memory of his best friend.  How silly to think animals can’t remember love, that they can’t feel the seasons shifting and recall happiness.

Spring is a particular pitfall for me.  The very energy that the buds must summon in order to break into flower and leaf challenges me to rise to the occasion.  To be a passive observer seems preferable at moments like this.  How easy it is to marvel at the beauty and leave it at that?  But my conscience won’t allow me to remain stuck in the contradiction of quarreling with the various screwed up elements of the status quo and doing nothing to change it.

The global shutdown occurring at this moment appears to me as a logical consequence of a human economy based on the wrong values.  Here we can apply the image of our pal Wile E Coyote again, running over the cliff and into the air until he looks down to see nothing is truly supporting him.  I have wished for a righting of this ecological and spiritual wrong for a long time without being able to comprehend how devastating the consequences would be for everyone, me included.

So … an additional level of contradiction to wiggle myself out of like Houdini with his handcuffs, chains, boxes, and what-have-you.  The quality I long to develop for myself, as the rug of ordinariness has been pulled out from under me and change is rumbling, is patience.  It takes, after all, a long time not only to change one’s self but to change the world.  Many won’t survive the changing and most people will fight it tooth-and-nail.  The seasons will come and go and those of us who remain will remember this time and what came before.  What will stop us in our tracks and take us through columns of time in the blink of an eye or the inhalation of a scent will be memories of love.